Jeanne Bonds

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Jeanne Milliken Bonds

Jeanne Milliken Bonds was the first female Mayor of Knightdale, North Carolina, USA. Bonds was first appointed to the Town Council in 1994, elected Mayor Pro Tem in 1995, and elected by popular vote in 1995. Bonds was re-elected in 1999 and appointed mayor in 2002 to fill a vacancy created upon the election of Joe Bryan to the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Bonds has been a federal and state lobbyist; strategic communications and community relations professional; development professional; and economic development professional. She has authored speeches for government officials and executives.

Early life and family[edit]

Bonds is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina, born in 1962 (14 November). She graduated from John T. Hoggard High School in 1981. Bonds is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a degree in Economics in 1985 and a graduate degree in Public Administration in 1991. She is an alumna of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority (See List of Kappa Alpha Theta sisters). She is married to Robert Alexander Bonds III, of Natchez, Mississippi, a graduate of the University of Mississippi and North Carolina State University (MBA). Robert Bonds' grandfather, Robert A. Bonds, Sr. served in the Mississippi House of Representatives and his grandmother, Annie Hastings Bonds, also served in the same House seat when her husband died. Robert A. Bonds, Jr. was a judge in Natchez.


While serving on the Knightdale Town Council, she was Deputy Director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. As Deputy Director of the state Administrative Office of the Courts and special assistant to Chief Justice Burley Mitchell, Bonds was able to lobby state lawmakers to increase funding to the judiciary for more personnel and technology.[1] She is also credited for her successful federal advocacy efforts as part of a multi-agency team that resulted in $30 million to NC for the Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN).[2]

Bonds was the North Carolina recipient of the Henry Toll Fellowship in April 1997, nominated by Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Chief Justice Burley Mitchell. The fellowship is offered through the Council of State Governments to 40 emerging state leaders across the country each year.

During her tenure on the Knightdale Council, Bonds served on the Finance Committee, Public Works Committee, Nominating Committee and Transportation Advisory Committee, CAMPO. Bonds was elected by her peers to the North Carolina League of Municipalities Board of Directors and served on the Finance Committee; Vice Chair, Policy Committee; and the Nominating Committee. She served on the Triangle J Council of Governments, Board of Directors; the Wake County Growth Management Commission; the Board of United Arts Council of Wake County and, was the liaison to the Chamber of Commerce throughout her time on the Council. She created and led the first Economic Development Committee in Knightdale with another former Mayor, Billy Wilder, and they held an Economic Development Forum, "All Highways Lead to Knightdale." (See Raleigh News and Observer, December 23, 2003, "Panel Looking to Lure Jobs.") Bonds and Wilder also led an effort to assist Colerain, a small town in Northeastern North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel by sending public safety personnel and holding a fundraising event for relief efforts. (See Raleigh News and Observer, September 27, 2003, "Aid Came Like 'Angels Descending Upon Us'.") There was a ceremony for Bonds when she retired from her local government role.[3]

In the early 1990s, Bonds worked at the NC Rural Economic Development Center with Billy Ray Hall, President, and Gov. Robert W. Scott who had served on the Board of Directors and was serving as a Visiting Fellow.

In November 2005, while serving as an executive, Senior Vice President for Government and Community Relations and Assistant Corporate Secretary for ElectriCities, a nonprofit advocate for two municipal utilities, Bonds and her staff lobbyist, Estherine Davis, and contract lobbyist, Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer were summoned by a grand jury in the federal investigation of North Carolina House Speaker James B. Black to answer questions regarding the hiring of Meredith Norris. Norris was a former political director for Black. ElectriCities hired Norris, the top political aide in April 2005, as well as Fetzer.[4][5] Bonds left ElectriCities in 2007.[6][7]

During 2011-2012, she helped North Carolina state Representative Bill Faison as a volunteer strategist, creating a jobs plan and acquiring significant earned media for issues. In 1996, she helped Chief Justice Burley Mitchell as a volunteer with his statewide communications strategy and earned media, in his successful election as Chief Justice.

2010 election[edit]

On January 9, 2009 Bob Geary suggested on the Indy Week Blogs[8] that Mayor Bonds might be a possible appointee to the North Carolina House of Representatives for District 39, a vacancy created when Linda Coleman resigned for a role in the Perdue Administration).[9][10] She did not seek the appointment but instead, she ran for the seat in the May 2010 Democratic Primary Election.[11][12] Bonds, a former State employee, was endorsed by the State Employees Association of NC[13] in March. Bonds lost the Primary Election to Darren Jackson.[14]

2012 Advisor[edit]

In March 2012, Jeanne Bonds was named as the "chief strategist" for Bill Faison.[15] She helped Bill Faison as a volunteer, part-time advisor, providing strategic advice for public relations and significant earned media for positions on issues.[16]

In 1996, she volunteered for Chief Justice Burley Mitchell as a communications strategy advisor for his statewide campaign.

Plain Talk Politics[edit]

Bonds created Plain Talk Politics in 2012, a weekly radio show and a website aggregator of news and opinion in North Carolina politics. Plain Talk previewed on television in February 2013[17]

Bonds was cited in the New York Times for her analysis of NC issues.[18] and in N.C. newspapers.[19][20] Bonds' commentary on N.C. Governor Pat McCrory and public relations was linked by the News and Observer.[21]

In July, Bonds wrote an opinion-editorial for the New York Times in the newspaper's section titled, "Room for the Debate."[22] The op-ed was cited in the News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer.[23][24]

Community Activities[edit]

Bonds has written columns for several newspapers and for more than five years appeared on NC Spin, a weekly public affairs and opinion television program.[25] She provided weekly analysis of a range of public policy issues for two radio stations - WGIV in Charlotte and WPTF in Raleigh. She has also appeared on a statewide cable television show, N.C. Capital Tonight.

Preceded by
Joe Bryan
Mayor of Knightdale
2002– 2003
Succeeded by
Doug Boyd


  1. ^ "Courts administrator to join CP&L - Triangle Business Journal". 1999-08-30. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Johnson, Mark. "Two testify to jury in Black investigation" (PDF). Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Rice, David (18 November 2005). "Jury hears more details in lobbyist's trial" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bonds out". Raleigh News & Observer. 30 April 2007. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ [2] Archived December 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Coleman's successor in House | Under The Dome". Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  10. ^ "Coleman's successor in House | Under The Dome". Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  11. ^ "Bonds running for N C House seat ready to serve District 39". Garner News. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  12. ^ [3] Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Frank, John. "Personnel file: Faison names campaign team for governor's race". Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
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  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ [5]
  19. ^ [6]
  20. ^ [7]
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ >
  23. ^ [9]
  24. ^ [10]
  25. ^ [11]

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